August 14, 2006
Fans Designing Janet Jackson Album Art

One of the most talked-about names in the entertainment industry is making news again, but this time Janet Jackson is baring her naked CD cover for her fans.

The popular pop star is hosting a contest for fans to design the cover of her next album release. Actual entry for the competition has now passed, and the pop star and her team are reviewing what they claim are "thousands of covers" that were submitted by fans to decide on a winning design for the CD, entitled 20 Years Old, which will be released on Sept. 26.

According to the contest, "the best cover designs could be used for the actual album release, emphasis being mine. The promotion seems like a great idea to me, unless they kick in the "could" clause and don't end up using any of the fan art, which could really anger a substantial number of people, particularly the "thousands" who submitted art. Even if the art isn't used for the cover, one would think they will use it for some parts of the overall packaging, including the back cover or the enclosed booklet.

Nevertheless, the contest appears to be another opportunity for content creators to engage with fans and find a way for fans to become a permanent part of the official story. For Janet Jackson fans, especially those with an artistic bent, designing the cover of a Janet Jackson CD would make that fan a permanent part of the Janet Jackson story.

It will be interesting to see what kind of goodwill the contest generated for Jackson's CD and also what she might do with the mounds of artwork sent in that will not be used with the CD release. But the contest proved to be a popular one and may help continue to establish Jackson as a major pop star.

Thanks to Siddiq Bello for sending this along.